8 Essential BJJ Drills To Improve Your Game On The Mat
BJJ drills Solo drilling techniques

8 Essential BJJ Drills to Improve Your Game on the Mat


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a complex martial art that requires dedication and consistent practice to master. One of the most effective ways to improve your BJJ game is through drilling. In this article, we will explore 10 essential BJJ drills that will help you develop your skills, sharpen your techniques, and increase your overall performance on the mat. 

The Importance of Drills in BJJ

Drilling is a vital aspect of BJJ practice, as it allows you to refine your techniques, develop muscle memory, and improve your overall understanding of the art. By incorporating BJJ drills into your training routine, you can increase your reaction time, enhance your positional awareness, and ultimately become a more efficient and effective grappler.

BJJ Drills to improve

1. Solo BJJ Drills for Movement and Coordination

Solo BJJ drills are a fantastic way to work on your movement, coordination, and balance without the need for a training partner. Some effective solo BJJ drills include:

  • Shrimping: This essential BJJ movement helps improve your hip mobility and escape techniques.
  • Bridging: A critical skill for escaping from bottom positions, such as the mount.
  • Technical stand-up: A vital technique for safely getting back to your feet in a self-defense scenario.
BJJ drills to improve technique

2. Guard Passing Drills

One of the most critical aspects of BJJ is passing your opponent’s guard. Incorporating guard passing BJJ drills into your training will help you develop the necessary skills to control and dominate your opponents. Some popular guard passing drills include:

  • Torreando pass drills: This classic pass helps you develop speed and agility while passing your opponent’s guard.
  • Knee slide pass drills: A powerful technique for slicing through your opponent’s guard and securing side control.
  • Leg drag pass drills: A dynamic passing technique that emphasizes controlling your opponent’s legs.

3. Guard Retention Drills

Having a strong guard is crucial for both offensive and defensive BJJ. Guard retention BJJ drills help you develop the skills needed to maintain and recover your guard against aggressive opponents. Some essential guard retention drills include:

Frame and hip escape drills: These drills teach you how to create space and recover your guard when your opponent attempts to pass.

Granby roll drills: A useful technique for recovering your guard and avoiding back exposure.

Inversion drills: Develop your flexibility and guard recovery skills by practicing inversion techniques.

How to improve at BJJ

4. Submission BJJ Drills

To become a well-rounded BJJ practitioner, you must be proficient in a variety of submissions. Practicing submission BJJ drills will help you develop the technical knowledge and muscle memory required to execute these techniques effectively. Some essential submission drills include:

  • Armbar drills: Focus on the mechanics and timing of this classic submission from various positions.
  • Triangle choke drills: Practice setting up and finishing this powerful choke from the guard.
  • Rear naked choke drills: Develop your ability to secure this dominant submission from the back.

5. BJJ Takedown Drills

Takedowns are an essential aspect of BJJ, particularly for competitors and self-defense practitioners. Incorporating takedown BJJ drills into your training will help you develop the necessary skills to bring your opponent to the ground. Some popular takedown drills include:

  • Double leg takedown drills: This fundamental wrestling technique is a powerful tool for BJJ practitioners.
  • Single leg takedown drills: Develop your ability to control and off-balance your opponent with this versatile takedown.
  • Judo throw drills: Practice techniques like the hip toss and foot sweeps to enhance your takedown arsenal.
BJJ drills in class to get better

6. Transition BJJ Drills

Smooth transitions between positions are crucial for maintaining control and applying pressure on your opponent. Transition BJJ drills help you develop the timing and fluidity needed to move seamlessly between positions. Some essential transition drills include:

  • Side control to mount drills: Refine your ability to transition from side control to the mount position while maintaining control.
  • Knee on belly switches: Develop agility and positional awareness by switching sides with the knee on belly position.
  • Back control transitions: Improve your back control maintenance and ability to transition between attacking positions.

7. Escapes and Defense BJJ Drills

Developing strong defensive skills is vital for surviving and escaping challenging positions in BJJ. Practicing escapes and defense BJJ drills will help you build the necessary skills to stay safe on the mat. Some fundamental escapes and defense drills include:

  • Side control escape drills: Focus on creating space and recovering your guard when trapped in side control.
  • Mount escape drills: Develop your ability to escape the mount position using techniques like the elbow escape and bridge and roll.
  • Back escape drills: Learn to defend and escape back control, one of the most dominant positions in BJJ.

8. Partner BJJ Drills for Timing and Sensitivity

Partner BJJ drills are essential for developing your timing, sensitivity, and ability to react to your opponent’s movements. These drills allow you to refine your techniques against a resisting partner, providing valuable feedback on your progress. Some effective partner drills include:

  • Flow rolling: This light, cooperative rolling helps you develop your movement, transitions, and overall BJJ fluidity.
  • Positional sparring: Start in a specific position and work on your offense and defense while focusing on improving specific aspects of your game.
  • Submission chain drills: Practice linking multiple submission attempts together, forcing your partner to defend and counter.

Tips for Effective BJJ Drilling Sessions

To get the most out of your BJJ drilling sessions, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Focus on quality over quantity: Ensure that you’re executing each technique with proper form and precision before increasing the speed or intensity.
  • Set specific goals: Determine what aspects of your game you want to improve and focus your drilling sessions on those areas.
  • Stay consistent: Regular drilling sessions are crucial for developing muscle memory and refining your techniques.
  • Train with a variety of partners: Working with different body types and skill levels will help you adapt your techniques to various situations.


Incorporating BJJ drills into your training routine is essential for improving your skills and overall performance on the mat. By focusing on the 10 essential BJJ drills mentioned in this article, you can refine your techniques, develop muscle memory, and become a more efficient and effective grappler.

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